Snownews - a command line feed reader

Feed technology such as RSS and Atom is something that a lot of websites and blogs use to deliver their content directly to users, rather than having the users have to come to the actual site.

With feeds being only a fairly recently adopted technology, we tend to think of feed reading applications as running on either the web, or as a graphical desktop application.

This isn't necessarily the case, however, and there are several command line feed reading applications that are available. One of these is called Snownews.

Most recent Linux distributions will have Snownews in their software repositories, so to get it installed, simply use your distro's package management program to find and install the snownews package. For example, in Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install snownews

If not, you can grab the source code and compile it yourself, or there is even a static binary available from the site.

Once you've got Snownews installed, run it from the terminal like so:

$ snownews

You'll be told that you can press h to see a list of keys which will perform different actions. For example, to add a new feed to subscribe to, press a.

In the box that appears, type the feed URL (for example - http://feeds.feedburner.com/fosswire).

Snownews screenshot

Once you have some feeds set up, you can navigate the main menu which will show you your list of feeds with the arrow keys. Pressing enter on any feed will show you the new items from the feed, and you can repeat this menu-driven process to read individual feed items (pressing q to back up a menu).

I'll leave you to explore the rest, it is fairly intuitive and with help at hand with a simple press of h, you can learn the interface very quickly.

OK, so it might not replace your current GUI or web-based feed reading solution, but if you're a CLI junkie or want to catch up with your favourite sites and blogs when you're SSH'ed in to a server, Snownews can be a very useful tool.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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